Today we bring you the elk horn. A houseplant, which, even though it is a fern, does not seem so at all when what a fern is comes to mind. What’s more, it’s more reminiscent of what its common name suggests, if it weren’t for green. If you read a little more we will tell you how to take care of it at home.
THE INNATE PECULIARITIES OF THE ELKHORN
Asplenium nidus avis, which is also found “attached” to trees for support and shade.
Its scientific name is Platycerium bifurcatum . To know the origin of the elkhorn we have to go to the Philippines and Oceania. As an indoor plant it is something different from what we are used to given the shape of its leaves and its general structure.
It is usually widely used as a hanging plant, either from baskets (more outside), plasterboards or shelves where its aesthetic qualities stand out better.
CONDITIONS TO HAVE A MOOSE HORN AT HOME
This plant requires high temperature ranges. Its optimum is around 20-22n ºC up to 25 ºC. Anyway, do not panic, we are talking about optimal. Do not have the house in winter at 25ºC just for the little plant in question.
Its cold limit is around 15ºC so if the house is at 20-21ºC there will be no problem. The more constant the temperature throughout the year, the better it will be for its development.
It is not a plant with a lot of thermal contrast.
It has a wide tolerance range to light conditions. Hold the shade but where it will best develop is with indirect light. Being slow growing, if we have it in a shady place, it will take more time to expand its foliage.
We need a substrate that retains moisture . Use peat moss and elements that help maintain this humidity such as pine bark or similar. In our article on plant substrates we tell you a little about the different materials you can use.
It is more tedious but the most suitable is watering by immersion for a long time (more than 15 min). Then we let it drain. We know that this method is hideously laborious. If you decide to water the pot directly, do so abundantly but do not wet the leaves.
The difference in frequency between one irrigation or another is great. By immersion it will hold until the next immersion for up to a week. If you water normally, you will have to do it almost daily. You cannot let the earth dry out.
REPRODUCTION OF THE ELKHORN
If you plan to multiply it, either as a gift, or because you really like this indoor plant, you can do it by dividing the stems or the small suckers that come out if you take good care of it. The multiplication by spores (remember that it is a fern) is excessively complicated, but we will not be the ones to tell you not to try it. It can be challenging !! You can identify the spores on the underside of some leaves that turn brown and velvety at the tips.
A FEW EXTRA NOTES ABOUT YOUR CARE
- Never pass a cloth or the like over the sheets wanting to clean them. You will spoil it. The leaves have a light downy bale composed of trichomes that cannot be damaged. The function is to avoid excessive evaporation.
- In summer you may need a little more room humidity if the environment is very dry. You can spray the environment, but avoid getting too much water on the leaves.